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FAKE OR REAL? Nigerians pay extra fees for children to learn British accent in Abuja

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Some parents in the Federal Capital Territory have admitted that they pay extra fees for their children to learn how to speak with British accent.

The parents, who spoke in separate interviews, gave several reasons why they felt having British accent would help the children, with some regarding it as proper education.

Investigations in schools around Garki, Gwarimpa, Wuse, Asokoro and Maitama in FCT revealed that the teaching of British accent had been included in the curriculum.

The classes, developed to satisfy parents, were named ‘Phonics’, ‘Elocution’, ‘Enunciation’ and ‘Diction.

These classes were most times separated from the normal English and Literature lessons commonly found in schools and were
allocated special times in the timetable.

Classes in the schools go for cumulative prices between N10,000 and N25,000 per term, added to the standard school fees.

Some schools visited by NAN said such classes were optional but pressure from some parents was gradually making it popular.

According to some parents, having their children speak in British accent gives them a feeling that they are receiving proper formal education; unlike the standard they (parents) had in their time.

They said since English originated from Britain, it was important that children learned to speak it in the proper accent, adding that it would help the children to relate better with people abroad.

Mrs Christina Ayuba, a businesswoman with four children said she was glad that her children were being taught British accent in school.

She said although she did not fully understand the way the children speak lately, she was proud that they speak that way, as it made
her feel like she was giving them the best education.

“I feel the pride of a parent when my children go to Church and people envy the way they speak smartly, at least I won’t be bothered if they go abroad.

“They will be able to interact with white people and understand them when they talk. It is something every parent should pay for to improve the children’s English language.”

Another parent, Mr Oyietari Oboro, an engineer with two children told NAN that he hired a tutor to teach his children the accent at home, in addition to lessons they receive in school.

He added that it was a necessary skill as the world was going global and people needed to be armed with the right conversational skills; noting that British accent had become an added advantage.

“We did not have these kinds of lessons growing up and it affected us. When you hear people speaking with a British accent, you start to feel your grammar isn’t correct.

“We don’t want our children to suffer these things and so these lessons are important as part of equipping them for the future.

“Most of us do not want our children to stay in this country for long and also do not want them to feel left out when they go abroad.”

The practice led to a surge in private ‘diction’ tutors who teach children in their homes or act as resource persons to schools.

Some of the tutors told NAN that they charge between N15,000 and N30,000 per month, depending on the intensity of the lessons.

Mr Charles Ajobi, a tutor, said he started the business in 2017 after a friend told him that his British accent could fetch him money.

He works as a private tutor in homes and also acts as a resource person in schools after interaction with other tutors led him to develop a complete course curriculum.

He said “parents pay a lot and teaching this accent is the thriving business in Abuja now. The craze is very high and it is almost like competition.

“Some of these children have poor grammatical structure and you have to work on that before you start to teach the accent properly,” Ajobi added.

However, some other parents were against the teaching of the British accent to children; saying it was another form of neo-colonialism and now a status thing among parents.

They insisted that learning proper grammar was essential “and not English flavours.”

Mrs Vera Alikan, a mother of two, said she was contented with proper English taught to her children and would not force them to take on any accent.

She added that it was preferable for children to learn foreign languages rather than accent.

“My children are normal and speak good English without an accent and I am okay with it. The situation is alarming as parents are competing with it, even in Churches.

“You hear some parents bragging that their children can speak in British accent, to them, education is complete.

“It just shows that our mentality is still very low in this part of the world. I see it as inferiority complex.”

Mrs Abiola Kayode-Apampa, an Educationist with over 20 years experience and a school administrator, said the trend had heightened as parents continued to pressurise schools on British accent lessons.

She said the trend was creating more room for inferiority complex among children and parents who could not afford the extra charge.

She said “parents encourage the teaching of British accent and most schools have to take this into consideration so as to maintain the relationship.

“However, teaching should be focused on imbibing the right grammatical structure so the students can speak well.

“Most schools are trying to copy and pander to pressure, without focusing on impacting real knowledge that the children can become better with,” Kayode-Apampa said.

She added that “an accent could be cool but it was not a yardstick for grading the intelligence of a child as erroneously done today by parents and schools.”

Kayode-Apampa hoped that educational priorities should be set straight “so that things like accent and ‘cosmetic teaching’ do not take over proper academics.” (NAN)

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: US records 2,000 deaths in 24 hours as cases pass 502,000

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COVID-19: 85 dead in Abuja, 17 states as nation relaxes lockdown on Monday

The United States has reported 2,108 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, the highest daily increase in the country since the outbreak began, pushing the total US death toll to 18,777 on the one-month anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in the US topped 502,000 on Saturday, as the worldwide death toll surpassed 102,000.

The US is soon expected to overtake Italy in the grim position as the country with the highest number of fatalities. To date, Italy has registered at least 18,800 deaths.

With the number of infections worldwide now close to 1.7 million, including more than 376,000 recovered patients, the WHO has urged caution to countries considering easing restrictions put in place to stem the outbreak.

“The way down could be as dangerous as the way up if not managed properly,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

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Metro

Ondo civil servant smuggles wife into service, places her on grade level 14

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Ondo: 25 civil servants suspended over financial theft

A civil servant in Ondo State has been arrested for allegedly smuggling his wife into the Ondo State Civil Service and placing her on grade level 14 and she had been collecting salaries.

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Special Duties, Dr Doyin Odebowale, who confirmed the arrest, said the suspect was caught as a result of the reform carried out by the state’s Head of Service, Mr Alex Aragbaye.

Odebowale did not, however, state how long the woman had been collecting salaries.

He added that other suspects were arrested for alleged involvement in various corrupt practices.

He said,

“We were able to discover that certain elements, whose names appear on the staff list, were never employed. A particular man employed his wife and placed her on grade level 14. She never attended an interview and she has been collecting salaries.

The governor’s aide stated that all the indicted civil servants had already been suspended, adding that they would face disciplinary actions.

 

 

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Specials

How my wife and I were humiliated, manhandled by Nigeria Police at Moore Police Station Ile Ife By Dr Abiodun Olabanjo

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COVID-19: Woman runs to Lagos police for help after NCDC failed to answer emergency line

My wife and l are Medical Doctors practising in Ile Ife Osun state. While my wife works with OSHMB. I have a private hospital in Ile Ife. l had to drive my wife to her place of work this morning with the private hospital ambulance (Name of the hospital well written on the ambulance with Doctors stickers on the windscreen). We had passed through several police barricades on the way.

On getting to one of the barricades in front of Moore Police station, we stopped and they asked for our mission on the road, despite the lockdown declared by the Government, and we patiently introduced ourselves and told them where we work and the reason why I had to drive my wife to her place of work and also informed them that I would be coming back soon as I had a patient that was been prepared for surgery before I left the hospital.

To my surprise on my way back from State Hospital Oke Ogbo Ile Ife where my wife works unlike other checkpoints where we had passed, where they didn’t need to stop us again for questioning on seeing the same hospital ambulance, the police at the barricade in front of Moore decided to stop us again and we did.

They asked me again for my identity and I explained to them but they insisted on parking the ambulance despite all explanation. After some persuasion one of the police personnel ordered the barricade to be removed, a car in the front and we followed but as we drove on we heard a loud bang at the back of the ambulance with someone in boy scout uniform calling other policeman claiming we broke through their barricade.

We, therefore, decided to stop but before I could open the car door to come down they started hitting me from the car, slapping and dragging me out of the car saying we wanted to hit one of them.

I was kicked several times by these about 30/50 people who were not even aware of what transpired. On citing this my wife quickly came down to stop the one slapping and hitting me but they didn’t even allow her they started beaten and dragging her too to the police station.

We were then ordered to be locked up in the cell by the Area Commander without any interrogation.

Instead, they collected all our four phones our shoes and other personal belongings including the car key without allowing us to make any form of communication either to our people nor our lawyer.

It was one of our patients who witnessed the event that quickly reported the case at our hospital from where our lawyer was contacted.

It was our lawyer in company of the patient that was waiting for emergency caesarian section that came to bail us at the police station. As we speak now, we were told they threatened to charge us to court tomorrow for trial even without investigation calling us all sorts of names and concorted lot of lies against us.

Our questions are….. Are Doctors not permitted to go to their places of work during this lockdown? Is the hospital ambulance not permitted to move during lockdown?

Was it normal for the police officer to collect all our phones without allowing us to communicate either with our people or our lawyer……. Our phones were ringing several times and they were dancing and singing to the tunes despite telling them that someone was in distress. It is our desire to register our displeasure to the whole nation…….

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